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Purchasing and New Medical for 2020

October 28th, 2019 at 02:00 am

I ordered a couple things off Amazon last night. I bought a 4 pack of 100 ct dye free Ibuprofen. I can, on occasion, find one bottle at Walgreens. We all would prefer to have our own bottles, but that has not been the case. I don't know why they never have it in stock or keep so little in stock, but it is getting frustrating. We have four Walgreens in town. One would think they would have more than one bottle between the four of them. They all carry it.

Then I bought some lens wipes for our glasses. I have been really unhappy with the Walgreens brand of wipes lately. I've had a lot of issues with them either being completely dried out, or being drenched so much that you have to then use a dry wipe afterwards. The brand I am trying had five stars. We'll see how good it is.

I did manage to get another package of the breakfast sausage I like and pick up a couple packets of hot dogs yesterday, too, along with some milk. I spent $20.18. I almost bought grapes, too. They had a sample of these yellow grapes (technically white, but they were very yellow) and they were very sweet and at first I liked them, but then I got this weird aftertaste up in my palate that was like almost burned caramel. I asked DH if he got it, too, and he said yeah, and he didn't like it. So we put them back. I am glad they had samples. I wish more stores would put out fruit samples, especially when bringing in something new.

I did get my steps in yesterday, but I don't think I will today. I'm having a bad joint day with the shakes in my hands. They were so bad that I had DH season the roast and put it into the Instant Pot for me. I figured if I did it, we'd end up with floor flavored seasoning, not my favorite. LOL

MIL says she will cover our hotel costs and food costs for going to Virginia Mason. That will be a relief. With having to buy the dishwasher I didn't want to have to spend an additional $300 for this visit.

We are getting new medical in January. It's Regence Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Cadillac insurance. It will cost a little less, too. The deductible will be the same, $3000. And there will be a FSA of up to $2700. I'm not sure of all the details yet, but apparently you could write a check in January if you needed to for the full amount and they'd just take it out of the paycheck through the year as you go. It does have to be used up by 2 months into the following year, but I can't even remember a year when we didn't have $2700 in medical expenses so that will never be a problem.

I don't know what the out of pocket max is, or the per person deductible yet. DH is going to see if they have a .pdf or a print out so I can go over it. Dental and vision will stay the same as they are different programs. Although I am thinking about bumping up to the better dental because DH needs to get a crown and I need to repair a chipped tooth.

I wonder if the HSA can be used for dental or just medical. I'll have to have DH ask.

Grocery Spending Tracking

October 21st, 2019 at 01:39 am

Yesterday I went grocery shopping. We ended up going to 7 different stores, because the stores were out of things that I wanted to buy. It was super annoying. Although I ended up with 7,356 steps yesterday, which is three miles. Usually I do about 3000 steps, which is my goal until I get stronger. So it was a lot of steps and I woke up having lost 2.1 pounds. Apparently I burned 3800 calories yesterday. I guess when you are lapping big stores and going up and down a lot of aisles, you do that.

Anyway, our first stop was at Costco. I spent $139.60 there, but $19.99 was out of the clothing budget for a pair of sweat pants for DS and $14.69 was for garbage bags which came out of the household budget. And then tax was $3.02. That tax goes with those because we don't have tax on food. So $37.30 was non-grocery spending and $101.90 was grocery spending. I bought:

3 4 pk steamer bags of organic frozen broccoli
2 Caesar salad kits
1 jar organic strawberry jam
1 8 pk of organic corn on the cob
1 package carné asada
1 bag Bibigo organic chicken potstickers
1 bag Bibigo beef mandu dumplings

After that we drove to Fred Meyer #1 $106.32. $3.14 of that was for a magazine and tax which comes out of my allowance and the actual grocery spending was $103.18. The first 3 items are for my daughter, who is sick. I bought:

1 gallon of vanilla HD ice cream
2 bags of Fritos
3 bottles of Sierra Mist sugar version
4 jars of Rao's Chicken Noodle Soup (expensive, but good and clean, no soy, no additives or preservatives)
4 2 packs of Mrs. Grass Noodle Soup
1 bunch cilantro
5 hothouse tomatoes
6 opal apples
6 jazz apples
2.5 lbs of cod fish
2 10 lb bags of ice
1 Woman's World magazine

Then we went to Fred Meyer #2 and spent $57.70. I bought:

2 loaves of Naked potato bread (on sale)
8 jars of Rao Chicken and Gnocci soup (expensive)

After that we went to Haggen #1 and spent $36.59. They were out of the sausages I wanted. I bought:

1 18 ct bag of cowboy cookies
2 loaves of pumpkin bread
1/2 gallon of Simply orange juice
1 18 ct bag of chocolate chip cookies
4 mountain rose apples (new variety, these things are pink inside, and taste like sweet tarts candy, won't be buying again)
1 big bag of red grapes

Next we stopped at the grocery outlet and spent $8.76. We went in looking for steaks, but they didn't have any good prices so left without them. I did buy:

1 organic red cabbage
2 bags of garlic croutons
5 kiwis

After that we went to Safeway. They were out of the sausages I wanted so we didn't buy much there. I spent $13.96 there. I bought:

3 packages of uncured pepperoni
1 package of beef sticks

Haggen #2 actually had my sausages, though not as many as I would have liked to buy. I spent $33.37 and bought:

1 18 ct bag of snickerdoodle cookies (yes, a lot of bags of cookies, but they are for the whole month, some went in the freezer)
3 packages of Hempler's breakfast sausage
2 acorn squash

So I spent a grand total of $355.46 out of a $400 grocery budget. I have $60 left in my grocery envelope for fill-ins and a couple more packages of sausage, because I had $10 leftover from last payday.

Now I need to make up my meal plan for the week.

I Haven't Felt Like Posting

October 17th, 2019 at 07:06 am

I think I'm still kind of reeling from having lost so much of my blog and I know everyone else feels that, too. I've had a bit of a what's the point attitude, because I have no clue if they are actually going to start backing things up or if this can happen all over again. It's not like they communicate things to us. I always have to go asking and quite frankly I'm tired of it and still kind of angry. I think I'm just going to have to force myself through it and try to blog anyway.

But really nothing is happening. I spent 5 days in bed with the most recent version of the plague. I've gotten dressed, brushed my hair, and made food for the last two days (which was a big deal, actually) and still had a bit of a cough and a runny nose and laid down a few times, but it is on the upswing. I think. I go back and forth. Autoimmune diseases complicate the healing process. Physical therapy about killed me, but I didn't want to cancel.

I hope this is not a bad flu year as I am allergic to the flu shot. Not that it seems to work these last few years anyway. They used to seem far more effective.

I've been working my way through the Star Treks. I started with Voyager, because that is my favorite (Tom and B'lanna forever), then moved on to Next Gen and now I am on Deep Space Nine. Netflix has Enterprise and the original, so I will probably do those next. I'm less of an original fan but I did like it. Honestly, I was more of a Battlestar Galactica/Buck Rogers fan when I was little. I will probably work my way through the Next Gen movies after that, then the originals, and then the new stuff. I've seen it all, except the most recent new one, but I am enjoying immersing myself in this universe again.

I have also been watching Raising Dion. It's about a child who comes into his superhero powers. Only he's about seven or eight years old and doesn't have any control and they go wild when he can't get a handle on his emotions. The acting is very good. I especially like his mother, but the little boy is great and it has Jason Ritter, who I have a soft spot for on account of his father. I'm four episodes in. Netflix really has some great Originals.

I had a major freak out today when I thought I had lost several chapters of my book. I have eleven written and I thought I'd lost everything after halfway through chapter three. It's been so long since I looked at it and I was ready to start writing again, but wanted to reread it first. I forgot that I had renamed the file. I realized it when I went to my back up portable hard drive and found the other title, then went back to the laptop and then sure enough it was there under the other title.

I don't save to the cloud because it has been hacked so many times I don't trust it. I had forgotten for a minute that I had saved it to the hard drive, so sheer blind panic ensued.

Not much else going on. Oh, we purchased 60 pounds of Kerrygold grassfed butter ahead of the tariffs. Hopefully that will be enough to outlast them. It was $330 but we had it and since the tariff is 25% it was worth it to me to get that in my freezer.

New Fitness Tracker and Physical Therapy Update

October 8th, 2019 at 01:39 am

I went ahead and used some of my allowance that I have been saving to buy a new fitbit. It cost $108.50 with tax. I ended up getting the white one since my son has a black one. It's easier to not get them mixed up if we accidentally leave them in the bathroom after a shower that way.

I really like it so far. I especially like that it tracks the heart rate since the doctor wants me tracking my heart rate since I've had some incidents of racing heart. If I can just look down at my wrist when that happens I can know immediately what is going on.

I also like that I can read my text messages on it or get buzzed when someone is calling me. I keep the volume on my phone turned off most of the time because the ringing can sometimes trigger a migraine. I've tried a ton of ring tones and there is just something about the pitch coming out of the phone that does it. I also keep it in my purse so I wouldn't feel it vibrating if I set it to that.

It's also waterproof so when I go to the pool I can keep it on. That's what I liked about my last one. I hope this one last longer. It is better constructed.

So far I have hit my steps every day since I got it. My steps aren't super high, though, since I am disabled. But I am doing more each day and have already been able to reset my step goals once.

We have finally started working on walking at physical therapy. For the first 8 weeks it was strengthening and stability exercises. At my session on Friday we started working on walking. Since I started using the proper walking technique I am doing so much better and able to walk further without a cane. My goal for this week was to walk to the end of the block and back, which is actually a typical block since our block is two blocks long.

Plus I got my new shoes and they are really nice. They cost $80, but they are 4E in width and for the first time in my life my feet don't feel jammed into the toe box. They also have a high front of the foot and Velcro(TM) fasteners which are easier on my arthritic hands.

When I get orthotics they will fit in them, too. I am hoping to be able to get them made this month. They cost $400, though, and insurance does not cover them at all. My PT, my Chiropractor, and my Podiatrist think it will make walking easier and help me to not have so much pain because I'll be in better alignment. I have been thinking about it for a couple of years now and am ready to get them.

I have a PT appointment tomorrow and I hope I will show a lot of improvement. I have been consistent with doing my exercises and I think it shows.

Blah Blah Blah (I hate coming up with titles)

October 5th, 2019 at 06:32 am

I don't think I'm going to try to recover any of my missing posts. I write so many blog entries in a month that finding them all would be a massive undertaking and I honestly just don't have the energy to do that at this time. Even if I did find them, I wouldn't want to just dump them back into the blog. That's okay for maybe 10 entries, but I would likely have 100 or more. So I am just going to accept them as gone and move on. At least for now.

I am going down tomorrow to meet my grand niece for the first time. It is her first birthday party. I'm not looking forward to the drive, but it will be nice to see my sister and my nephews and niece and the baby. I am not looking forward to the drive there and back, though. It is always so hard on my body to be in the car for long periods of time. I'm already in an RA flare due to the weather.

Today was payday. It's pretty much on auto pilot at this point. I don't know if there is much point in my posting my payday reports. I haven't in a while. At first it was mostly to keep me on track on the budget, but I've been doing really well with it for a year now and don't think it is really necessary anymore.

Yesterday I took DS shopping for sweat pants. It took us 4 stores to find one pair that wasn't paper thin or didn't cost $55 a pair (When did Penney's get so expensive) or wasn't unraveling at the seams. Why is it so hard to find thick sweat pants of good construction anymore? We found one pair at Kohl's that was on sale for $19.56. The selection everywhere for men's sweats is garbage. There is barely anything as compared to women's sweats and the colors are almost non-existent.

Or you'll go to Target (where I hate to shop) and their sizes are their own compared to everyone else's so nothing fits that should. When my son is a large in every store but not even the XL fits at Target, you know they are screwing with sizing. I thought they only screwed around with women's sizing. Men's used to be standard.

We are going to stop at a store in Burlington on the way back from the party and see if they have anything there. It is a store we used to have here, but our branch of it closed, and we used to have really good luck there with clothes. If not, we'll have to try some sporting goods stores to see if they have anything. I don't want to spend $55 a pair for Nike or Adidas. DS doesn't give a hoot about brand names and they are far from reasonable.

I am seriously thinking about digging out my sewing machine and learning to make clothes once and for all.

Vacation was Fantastic

October 2nd, 2019 at 01:16 am



Well, mostly fantastic. The place was beautiful and the evenings were so quiet and peaceful and restful. Unfortunately there was no sleeping in as the neighbors started mowing their lawn at 9:15. Who mows their lawn at 9:15 on a Wednesday morning? Then the other neighbors started doing construction with a bulldozer around noon, but that ended at 5:30. We left the cottage to pick up dinner at 4:00 though so we missed at least an hour of it.

We spent a couple hours on the deck when we got there Tuesday afternoon. They had this lovely little seating area with a couch and two chairs with pillows around a coffee-sized picnic table that was under a covered area. The tide was in so you couldn't see the beach at all until around 1/2 an hour before dusk and then there were a couple of feet of it. But the water looked amazing.



After dinner (which was Subway, but there were limited options) on the deck we sat in the hot tub and watched the sun go down over the sea. It was one of the most relaxing things I've done in a long while.

We didn't do much on Wednesday, but we managed to get all six episodes of Good Omens watched Tuesday night and on Wednesday. But it wasn't a vacation to do much anyway, just one to refresh with. We had brought food for breakfasts and the tide was out in the morning. The beach went out quite a ways at that point.

We went and grabbed a pizza at a place called Figaro's, which wasn't anything to write home about, was a decent middle of the road pizza. They had a great salad, though. You could get up to four toppings on your salad, anything you could put on a pizza so I chose bacon, cheese, green peppers, and red onions and the greens were mixed so a lot of variety in flavor. It took me two days to eat it.

Oh, for the other meal I made T-bones. They were so big we didn't have anything else with them. After dinner we went out and sat in the hot tub again, watched the sun go most of the way down, got dressed and then sat on the deck and watched it go the rest of the way down and then watched the lights across the inlet twinkle and the clouds reflected on the water. After it was too cold to stay outside we went inside and I taught DH how to play Parcheesi.

The cottage was tiny, it had one bedroom, one bath, a kitchen, and a living room. The living room had a pull out bed. It also had a sectional couch, an ottoman, and a table, so you can imagine how little room there was. DH and I were almost tripping over each other and they say it can sleep 6 with the sectional. I don't know how you'd breathe with that many people in the house. If they were all little kids maybe and you spent all your time outside.




It was well-decorated with some old-fashioned paintings and knickknacks, but there were too many of them. Too much surface space was taken up with stuff and since it was, there was nowhere to move the stuff on the bedside tables. One table was completely taken up with a big CD player and lamp and the other had a clock and lamp with barely enough room for my C-pap machine. DH had to put some of the stuff on the floor to use his machine. It didn't really need two bedside lamps or any really, since you could reach the light switch from the bed.

I did have to unplug the Glade plug-in as soon as I figured out what was making the smell. I had thought it was cleaner at first, but when it didn't dissipate I went on the hunt. She left us flowers and cinnamon rolls on the kitchen counter.



The last morning we walked on the beach, but I kind of regretted that due to the amount of mud that left on my shoes. Thick black mud and the deep squelching kind. I still haven't gotten it all off yet and I've cleaned them twice. We saw a lot of shells washed up and even a couple dead crabs. There weren't a lot of birds, just one or two most of the time. We did see the fish leaping to eat bugs at dusk, which was cool.



The most important thing was that it relieved so much stress, it was relaxing, and my mind set improved dramatically. We are talking about going back for a couple of days in March for our 25th Wedding Anniversary.

But I am nitpicking, because the overall experience was just what I wanted. I don't think a whole week there would be a good idea for one or two nights it was great.

On the way home we stopped at Red Lobster and got the Ultimate Feast. I ate the shrimp and lobster and brought the crab home for dinner. I also had baked potato soup for my side because they make a fantastic one. I was disappointed in the broccoli, because they seasoned it with red pepper and it was too much. We had a $6 toll for the Tacoma Narrows bridge on the way home, but not on the way there.

All in all, we spent under $500 for the entire vacation. There was a $150 damage deposit but that was refunded the day after we got home. I was very pleased with the whole experience. I will try to insert a few photos.

I Found It and Paid Cash for It

April 7th, 2019 at 01:38 am

I have been searching for five years for a new comforter in the teal to turquoise range and today I finally found it. It's teal and a Queen, not a King, but that's okay. I put it sideways on the bed anyhow and I don't tuck it because of the bed rails. I have never, not once, found a comforter for a King bed that I have liked, but I have found queen ones, so I'm used to that. They simply didn't come in the larger size. I used my allowance money as I have barely touched it for the last six months. While it could have come out of the household budget, this is a want, not a need, so I used my allowance. I still have enough left over to purchase an upgrade for my video editing software.

It was $69.95 plus tax. We found it at the Big K in Burlington. Our Kmart shut down and this is the nearest one to us. I was not overly impressed with this store. It is a larger store, but not so nicely laid out and it didn't seem to even have as much stuff as our old one did.

I also purchased some socks with the money from the clothing envelope as they have the type of socks I like that don't slip in my shoes, Athletech. I got a pack of 10, so I should be good again for a while. The socks were $8.99 plus tax.

And then I purchased a stainless steel frying pan. The copper skillet that came with the induction cooktop is already having food stick. We have been very careful to only use a sponge, too. That irritates me immensely. We had one before that did the same thing. I hate copper pans and if it hadn't come with it, I'd never have had one again.

And while I like cooking in cast iron, our big pan is quite heavy and the stainless steel is easier to lift and clean. I can still use the smaller cast iron pans easily. I got a 12 inch 5 quart saute pan with a lid. You can only use pans that a magnet will stick to on the cooktop. But now I should be good. This came out of the household envelope and cost $16.99.

Tax was $7.99, but I had some points left from before our Kmart closed down so had $1.97 taken off the final balance which was $101.99. Tax came out of the clothing budget just to make life easier. And no, I didn't make three separate purchases, I did one, but then reimbursed the envelopes that needed to be, because sometimes using cash can be a pain and I do whatever makes it work best.

So today was spending, but everything was funded, and that's the way I like it.

Payday Report for 4/5/19

April 5th, 2019 at 08:20 pm

I raised the grocery budget this week just because we are going down to the farm on Saturday and I will be buying ground beef and bacon. I may not have actually needed to do that as I won't be buying much meat this week otherwise, but if I don't spend it I will put it back in the checking account.

I also bumped the medical fund up to $500 as we had a bill come in that we were starting to think would never arrive. It was from October. I don't think I will need to repeat that next payday, though.

$327.36 Tithe
_400.00 Utilities
_500.00 Grocery Envelope
_500.00 Medical Fund
__75.00 Household Fund
_108.91 Internet
__36.00 Garbage Fund (every 2 month bill)
_100.00 Car Insurance Fund
__50.00 Car Maintenance Envelope
_100.00 Gas Money
_100.00 Blow Money Adults
_105.00 Allowances
_100.00 Clothing Envelope
_100.00 Computer Fund
_500.00 Monster Mom Loan Payment
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3102.27 Total Money Out